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Curated by renowned art collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, Berkshire Botanical Garden's ART/GARDEN 2022 four-part art exhibition titled “Symbiosis” opened June 10 and ran through Oct. 28, 2022.

Including outdoor sculptures in the gardens and indoor artwork in the Leonhardt Galleries, “Symbiosis” aesthetically merged art and the botanical world. “Symbiosis” not only focused on the interaction between two organisms that mutually benefit each other, but also speaks in a greater sense about the overall interconnectivity of living things. 

“I am thrilled to continue my ongoing collaboration with the Berkshire Botanical Garden — this time with ‘Symbiosis,”’ said DeWoody, who curated 2021's “Taking Flight” sculpture exhibit at BBG. “Throughout my collecting, I see patterns in the works that artists are creating. This exhibition focuses on the natural world and the relationships among living things and is reflective of what I have been seeing within the greater art world.”

“I am bringing to BBG lots of exciting, emerging artists that have been on my radar for a while,” DeWoody continued. “I’m also happy to show artists within this exhibition that are more world-renowned. Curating always gives me the opportunity to support and share my vision beyond just my collection. Enjoy!”

Chairman of The Rudin Family Foundations and Executive Vice President of Rudin Management, DeWoody is known for her vast art collection, which she houses and exhibits by appointment at The Bunker Artspace in West Palm Beach, Fla. She is the Vice Chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Life Trustee at The New School in New York City. Her board affiliations also include Empowers Africa, Save A Child India, Inc, The Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

The outdoor sculpture portion of “Symbiosis” exhibited through Oct. 28. It featured works by Michele Oka Doner, Daniel Gordon, Brandon Lomax, Yassi Mazandi, Thaddeus Mosley, Ben Wolf Noam, Kiki Smith, Ned Smyth, Wade Tullier, and Erwin Wurm.

The first of three indoor “Symbiosis” exhibits this season in BBG’s Leonhardt Galleries runs through July 24. It featured works by Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.), Ann Craven, Michele Benjamin, William Binnie, DABSMYLA, Robert Davis, E.V. Day, Jordan Doner, Walton Ford, Daniel Gordon, Karen Gunderson, Judi Harvest, Steven & William Ladd, Lee Relvas, Kathy Ruttenberg, Sean Mellyn, Dana Sherwood, Alan Sonfist, Ana María Velasco, Paul Villinski, LeRone Wilson, Rob Wynne, and Firooz Zahedi.

The second indoor exhibition ran from July 29 through Sept. 11, and featured works by Christopher Adams, Charles Arnoldi, L.C. Armstrong, Madeleine Bialke, David Brooks, Leidy Churchman, Peter Dayton, Margot Glass, Mimi Gross, Paula Hayes, Robert Hawkins, Marc Horowitz, Kathy Klein, Seffa Klein, Nancy Monk, Charles Ray, Tomás Saraceno, Max Hooper Schneider, Katherine Sherwood, Simone Shubuck, Coleen Sterritt, and Tabboo!

The third indoor exhibition ran from Sept. 16 through Oct. 30, and featured works by John McAllister, Lou Beach, Helen Chung, Elliot Green, Adler Guerrier, Sophia Heymans, Marsia Holzer, Max Jansons, Poppy Jones, Iran Issa-Khan, Lacey Leonard, Matt Murphy, Peter Nadin, Rose Nestler, Jonathan Peck, Alexandra Penney, Rob Raphael, Megumi Shinozaki, Elizabeth Thompson, Celina Teague, Henry Vincent, Gabrielle Vitollo, Shanna Waddell, Faith Wilding, and Anna Zemánková.

In all, “Symbiosis” featured more than 100 well-known and emerging contemporary artists that celebrate our natural world. That included one of the most prominent artists of the past century, Kiki Smith, who creates artworks in various media that cross the natural and spiritual worlds, gender and sexuality, and birth and regeneration. Her work has been the subject of more than 25 museum exhibitions worldwide and featured in five Venice Biennales. “Sungrazer IX” represents Smith’s latest exploration of patinated bronze. Though the sculpture is rendered in a sturdy medium, the delicacy that Smith is known for — in her drawings, collages and other two-dimensional work — is evident within the details of the piece. Fascinated by the immense complexities of the cosmos, Smith further explores this through “Sungrazer,” by giving shape to the movement and brilliance of the stars.                                                                  

At the age of 96, self-taught and acclaimed sculptor Thaddeus Mosley is still producing work in his home city of Pittsburgh, Pa. “Inverted Dancer” is cast in bronze from Mosley’s traditional process that transforms often salvaged wood into abstract forms. These abstractions are inspired by a wide-range of influences — from Constantin Brancusi and European modernism, to jazz and African Diaspora art. At times the work recalls the rawness and structure of Dogon stepladders from Mali or even the minimalism of Isamu Noguchi. 

Mosley’s simplistic but highly pensive process involves his use of only a mallet or chisel. Mosley has always been drawn to wood for its availability, simplicity and warmth in its tones. Though cast in bronze, “Inverted Dancer” retains the beauty in the color of the “wood” and connects to the same organic nature of the land.                                                     

New York-based sculptor Ned Smyth has exhibited internationally for almost 50 years in venues including the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art. Smyth’s inspiration comes from surrounding nature and found organic materials. His latest sculpture, “Twig 1-5,” is cast in bronze from a twig that is merely 12-inches high. This radical transformation in scale not only skews the viewer’s perception, it does so with a reverence to nature, monumentalizing an everyday piece of it.                                                                   

Inside, the Leonhardt Galleries transformed a total of three times. Each exhibition provided its own unique take with subject matter that ranges from Ikebana and spiders to Dodo birds and potatoes.

“Symbiosis” is produced by Laura Dvorkin, co-curator of The Bunker Artspace and Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection.

Read the article about "Symbiosis" in The New York Social Diary.

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